This week I had the opportunity to clarify and articulate my position about overcrowding in classrooms. While there is definitely consideration that numbers are relative to the needs inherent in each child, it is important that we understand that there ARE indeed standards for class size that we simply need to uphold. According to the Alberta Commission on Learning maximum size for a classroom of children in Kindergarten or Division One (Grades 1-3) is 17 students.
Based on the 2012/2013 statistics shared by the Alberta Teachers Association it is clear that we are far exceeding that maximum. This is, in my opinion, chaos management not education. When a classroom of young children is too large, then we risk allowing children to “fall through the cracks”: as long as they behave compliantly, we will not challenge them to meet their own potential for excellence. This is a serious issue that I expect your Public Board to address.
I also expect you to be part of the solution! In the coming weeks and months you will need to help me remind our provincial elected officials that education is a priority for Albertans, and Edmontonians are prepared to lead the way in that reminder. I will need your help in shifting our assessment of a successful funding model away from a model that is dependent upon large class sizes, especially for our youngest students.